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Fuel Economy standards have been stalled based on Industry exaggeration and lies
For three decades, American auto manufacturers have mislead Congress and the public about their ability to increase the fuel economy of their vehicles. Instead of admitting the true impact of technological advance, manufacturers have offered exaggerated threats of a reduction in market possibilities, claiming that increased standards would drastically reduce consumers' choices.
Auto industry low-ball estimates have tainted federal establishment of fuel economy standards for light trucks.
In 2000, when Congress was gearing up to discuss Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Standards, Ford, joined quickly by GM and Daimler/Chrysler, made a public announcement that they would raise their fuel economy for light trucks by 25 percent by 2005. As Congressional threat faded, Ford "clarified" these promises to NHTSA, admitting that manufacturer’s estimates are usually over-inflated. NHTSA based its most recent light truck standards almost directly on the comments of the Big 3, without subpoenaing additional material or conducting their own tests of proposed technological improvements.
Click here to read Ford’s comments admitting their need to backtrack from their 2000 promise.
Click here to read a letter from Public Citizen to NHTSA Administrator Dr. Runge requesting NHTSA make ex parte emails, such as one from Ford to NHTSA discussing Ford's diminished potential capability, public.
Additional Fact Sheets on Manufacturer Hypocrisy and Fuel Economy
Click here to visit our Fuel Economy page.
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